Thursday, October 11, 2007

The fiction vs. non-fiction brain

Yesterday was a non-fiction day. I wanted to work on my next novel. Really I did. I just made the mistake of starting on non-fiction activities too early in the morning and that completely ruined my plans. I don't know why I can't write fiction and non-fiction in the same day. Actually, it isn't just the writing. It's the living. If I start paying my bills, managing investments, and planning for the future, I get so entrenched in reality I can't seem to pull myself loose. This is definitely not a good scenario for a fiction author!

I know the reverse can be equally true. On the days that I get up early, start writing and really get going, wild horses can't drag me away from my computer. Okay, maybe a wild three-year-old can, but barely. On days like these, I lose myself completely in my fictional world. I start caring so much about these characters that were born in my imagination that I think about them all the time. The characters take on a life of their own. Their future is as unknown to me as it is to them, and I find myself typing faster and faster so that I can see what happens.

As for finding the balance between the fiction and non-fiction aspects of my life, that's an ongoing challenge. I find that the non-fiction side of my brain tries to be dominant whether I want it to or not. The obstacles that come up are endless, some of them unavoidable (feeding hungry children) and some which can be planned around (phone calls and surfing the internet.) For today, I'm going to find that story that's brewing in my mind...and take the phone off the hook.


Avery Gray said...

Oh, I know exactly what you mean! Yesterday was supposed to be a fiction day for me, but I just couldn't get into it! And I don't have any excuses. My son was at school, the house was quiet. It was just me and the computer, but I found myself surfing the web rather than writing. Wish there was a switch in my brain I could toggle.

Great post!

belle said...

Did you manage to find it? The story that was buzzing round your brain?

Nice reading you, by the way.

Joeprah said...

My life is very non-fiction and I remember that each time I change a stinky diaper...that is when it gets too real. Fiction characters don't change too many diapers I suppose.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

good evening traci:
i love that part how you said you get so excited you start typing faster and faster just so you can see what happens to your characters. very cool.

i love it when i occasionally totally get into my scripture reading time (i love that "rush" when i can't seem to put them down).